I am a hand-crafted food lover. I spend way too much time making meatballs and go out of my way to find out if the mayonnaise on my sandwich was emulsified on site that morning or arrived in a giant plastic tub. There is one item though I usually prefer when it's mass produced: potato chips.
Try as fancy chefs might, potato chips fried at restaurants in and around Dallas are consistently mediocre if not terrible. Uneven browning and a greasy, leathery texture are the most common problems, but even the best versions lack the addictive, snappy crunch of the kettle-cooked chips you can buy in a bag at the store.
The chips at East Hampton Sandwich Company are so good I cleaned my plate every time I ordered a sandwich. When my dining companions weren't quick enough I cleaned their plates too. Over the 742 chips I ate while conducting this week's review I only encountered a handful of undesirables, so I was excited to ask owner Hunter Pond how he achieved such consistency. His answer was surprising.
I was expecting a convoluted technique requiring specially sourced potatoes, water baths to remove excess starch and precise frying temperatures and batch sizes, but Pond's plan is much more simple. "I hired a chip guy," he told me. The frying stations at most casual restaurants are an afterthought, but Pond hired a single employee devoted to nothing but making consistent potato chips. It worked.
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Lots of things are working in this new Snider Plaza sandwich shop. After you read my review to learn more about some of the sandwiches be sure to check out this slideshow for some seriously attractive sandwich porn.